Lay the Favorite: A Story About Gamblers Info

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“Beth Raymer’s crackling, hilarious memoir
ricochets through the gambling underworld in Las Vegas, and is peopled
with all manner of lovable wack-jobs, none of whom is quite as
wacky—or lovable—as Raymer herself.”—Marie

Beth Raymer waited tables at a dive in Las
Vegas until a customer sent her to see Dink, of Dink Inc., one of the
town’s biggest professional sports gamblers. Dink needed a
right-hand man—someone who would show up on time, who had a head
for numbers, and who didn’t steal. Beth got the job.

Lay the Favorite is the story of Beth’s
years in the high-stakes, high-anxiety world of sports betting—a
period that saw the fall of the local bookie and the birth of the
freewheeling, unregulated offshore sports book, and with it the
elevation of sports betting in popular culture. As the business
explodes, Beth rises from assistant to expert, running an offshore
booking office in the Caribbean. As the men around her succumb to their
vices—money, sex, drugs, gambling—Beth improbably emerges
with her integrity intact, wiser, sharper, nobody’s fool. A keen
and compassionate observer of the adrenaline-addicted roguish types who
become her mentors, her enemies, her family, Beth Raymer depicts an
insanely colorful world teeming with pathos and ecstasy.


“Candid, smart, funny, wild and


“Raymer gleefully shatters the myth of the modern gambler. . . .
Seduced by her stories, we long for this strange, sleazy and alluring
landscape.”—Los Angeles Times

“[Raymer depicts] a sordid, florid
microworld lurching along the edge of society, not to mention legality. .
. . She never condescends or indulges in reality-show caricature; she
finds charm in the charmless, a point of light in the most lost of
souls.”—The New York Times Book Review

Lay the Favorite reads more
like a novel than a memoir. The rich characters are drawn in depth, yet
simply and honestly.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Entertaining (and often quite funny)
. . . a delight to read.”—The New Yorker

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